Ramkarran backs creation of 3rd party for Guyana

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first_img– to support establishment of a unity Government Former House Speaker Ralph Ramkarran, SC, in his weekly column dubbed “Conversation Tree”, has called for the establishment of a third party, noting that this could help to make the Government more responsible and ensure that the revenues earned from the emerging oil sector were properly utilised.According to him, with the current circumstances facing the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the deteriorating economic conditions facing the one-seat majority coalition, together with the pending establishment of an oil economy, are enough reasons to have a high degree of political unity.Ramkarran believes this is necessary especially at this given point because it will help Guyana to preserve and safeguard the billions of dollars likely to flow into the nation’s coffers from oil, instead of it being dissipated in waste, extravagance, and corruption.“Having failed to establish inclusive governance, which both parties supported when in Opposition but failed to implement while in office, now is time for Guyanese to be offered a different kind of political party,” he said, adding that Guyana needed a party with a programme of unity.The former House Speaker views this as a way out of what he described as the debilitating ethno-political controversies and insecurities which have dominated Guyana’s politics. He said it has only bred suspicion, antagonism, and political unilateralism.“This third party can do so by recognising the existence of the two major parties, the support they receive and seek as its fundamental goal to encourage these two parties to work together for the future of Guyana. Decades of political effort, including the mandate of the electorate in 2011, have all failed.”Ramkarran said if the third party wins the majority, it should accept the task of Government in order to prevent a constitutional crisis, pointing to the fact that under the Constitution, the party obtaining a majority or plurality must hold the presidency.However, he said until the Constitution is amended, the party should be obliged to fulfil its constitutional mandate, but, not being committed to power, would propose a re-examination of this and other provisions. He said, “The difference is that, in accordance with its primary purpose, it will invite the other major parties to share in the Government in accordance with their percentage of support.”Further, if a majority is not achieved, the prominent Attorney is suggesting that the third party remain in Opposition but strongly advocate and agitate for the establishment of a unity Government of the major parties.“If the major parties recalcitrantly resist the call for unity, the third party will support the party that agrees to implement its policies of constitutional reform leading to inclusive governance and for economic and social reform, including strong measures against poverty, crime, and corruption,” he further suggested.Ramkarran reasoned that for decades, experts have concluded that the divisions created by ethno-political rivalries are major reasons for Guyana’s underdevelopment. As such, he said a third party would not seek to replace the two major parties. It will seek to make them winners, with both serving in Government.“The supporters of these parties will remain supporters and should not see it as a betrayal to support the third party, whose objective would be to ensure that there are no losers in elections,” he stated.But equally important, Ramkarran said, the third party must never fall victim to the lure of political office. It must have a higher purpose that resonates with the Guyanese people – unity. “The unity that will be created is now a vital necessity. …Electoral pressure must be brought to bear,” he added.last_img

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